In the summer of his eighth year, Oliver Hunt began playing the trumpet with the intention of playing in the school orchestra. A few months later, he performed "Amazing Grace" at a school concert and six months later he gave a recital at school comprised of pop, jazz and classical material. Within one year Oliver was playing baroque accompaniments for church Choral groups in his home town of Petaluma, CA.
During that time Oliver began performing jazz with local players under the tutelage of his father, pianist composer and arranger Robb Hunt. Oliver also began playing at local venues where he quickly established himself on the local jazz scene. Growing in his musical talents, a group was formed around Oliver and they began playing concert dates in a variety of settings, which included various festivals. While appearing at the annual Mustard Festival in Napa, CA with his group, Oliver was heard by radio personality Gene Burns who described Oliver as "fantastic...a young Miles Davis reincarnated".
Just after turning 12 years old, Oliver performed a "Millennium" concert with his then quartet (veteran players Robb Hunt on piano, Steve Webber on bass and David Watson on drums and vocals.) at the Sebastiani Theater in downtown Sonoma. This concert was very well received and preceded a very active year of concerts and performances. Oliver inaugurated the 2000 "Jazz and Blues by the Bay" festival in Sausalito, CA and later that summer at Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves performed a special concert billed "Oliver Hunt and David Watson - Kind of New" playing the music of the late great trumpet player Miles Davis. The latter performance was televised by KPIX out of San Francisco, CA where Oliver was again billed as a "young Miles Davis".
As his fame grew, Oliver became the subject of a variety of newspaper and magazine articles and has been the recipient of very salutary reviews. Noted jazz writer Grover Sales reviewed an outdoor concert referring to Oliver as "a doppelganger re-creation of Miles Davis's golden years of the 50s" and referring to Oliver as "astonishing."
Equally at home in classical repertoire, Oliver performed the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E-flat with the Solano Symphony under Semyon Lohss in December 2000 and was described as "an extraordinary young man with a horn" and "with a cool and easy jazz man's style... which made his performance especially appealing." Noting Oliver's jazz mannerisms, reviewer Marilyn Mantay referred to Oliver's performance as "beautiful...trills and all."
Oliver's playing reflects the influence of not only Miles Davis but also equal amounts of Chet Baker, Clifford Brown, Art Farmer and Fats Navarro. Oliver continues to study and develop his classical and jazz repertoire and continues to perform limited engagements. Oliver intends to concertize in both classical and jazz performances in the 2001 season.